The Parliament of Sierra Leone has debated and ratified a bilateral agreement for the development of the State.
Cooperation agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the International Airport Association (IATA) was the agreement ratified.
Presenting the agreement before ratification, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Rex Bonapha said the agreement is a non-profit organization and went on to highlight the work of IATA towards the development of the aviation industry. He spoke on the need for the agreement to be ratified by Parliament.
In his submission to the debate, the Parliamentary Chairperson on Transport and Aviation Hon. Maada Ambrose Lebby said the agreement is non-controversial and went on to highlight its benefits of the international aviation industry.
On his part, Hon. Dr. Mark Mahmoud Kalokoh said they as opposition would also support good agreement and went on to support the agreement for the development of the industry.
In rounding up the debate, the Acting Leader of the opposition, Hon. Hassan Sesay said the agreement is non-controversial and requested the Deputy Minister to make sure that Sierra Leone becomes a beneficiary of the agreement.
In concluding the debate, the Leader of Government Business, Hon Mathew Sahr Nyuma said the agreement is in the right place and called for proper monitoring of its implementation mechanism and referred to it as “A good agreement”.
The Speaker of Parliament the Rt. Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu requested the Deputy Minister to bring all aviation related agreements for ratification.
In another development also, the Parliament of Sierra Leone has debated the Bill entitled: “The Civil Aviation Act 2023”, for the development of the aviation industry.
The Bill is seeking to provide for the repeal and replacement of the Civil Aviation Act, 2019 (Act No. 7 of 2019), to provide for an effective aviation safety and security oversight system; provide for the incorporation of the requirements of the Chicago, and Montreal Convention into the domestic law and to provide for other related matters.
Hon. Ambrose Maada Lebby said the Bill is to address the many deficiencies that are in the Parent Act and also said the Bill is related to the IATA agreement. He said the Bill would transform the international airport from black-listing 18% to an excellent point of 80%, in terms of international rating or classification.
Hon Dr. Mark Mahamoud Kalokoh said the Bill is fit for purpose and went on to raise concern over composition of the board.
In rounding up the debate, the Acting Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Hassan Sesay said the Deputy Minister has done a lot of work and called on MPs for the Bill to be committed to the Legislative committee for further deliberations.
In concluding the debate, the Leader of Government Business Hon Mathew Sahr Nyuma said the Bill has been in front of the House for far too long and it is non-controversial and went on to say, in lieu of its passage, no controversy would be introduced.